A GIRVAN Academy pupil is half way to funding a dream trip after securing a place at NASA United Space School.

Daniel Conlan, 16, was over the moon when he secured a place at the space school, which brings 50 students from 25 countries together to design a manned mission to Mars.

Daniel, from Colmonell, will make the trip to Houston, Texas in July and is currently raising funds for the dream trip.

Daniel said: “I found out just over a month ago from my teacher. We had to write an essay on why we wanted to go and that moved on to an interview before I then got told I was going – it was great.

“I got interested in space from quite a young age. When I was small my gran used to talk to me about Mars and got me a book about the Universe. Reading that I got a lot more and more interested, so it sparked from there and just been fascinated with it.

“We’re to be put into five different teams to work on different parts of the mission. We have to make presentations on how our progress is going to lots of NASA scientists, and they’ll probably criticise, but then develop on, what we’ve done right and what we’ve done wrong.

“It’s been absolutely amazing so far with all the people who have donated, there’s been some really generous donations.

“We also held a bake sale in the school and raised more than £100, and also a couple other stuff coming up soon like a dress down day just before the Easter holidays.”

To donate visit www.gofundme.com/tothe-moonandback